Thursday 31 January 2013

Oh no, Taleo

A few weeks ago, I spent an agonising day filling in a job application using a HR programme called Taleo (talent acquisition system). To say it was painful is an understatement. It's suffers from very poor usability and is very inaccessible to those with disabilities...which is ironic as the post I was applying for was for a Usability and Accessibility specialist. I think part my issues were multifaceted:

  1. I needed to fill in the same information in a few different ways. It was annoying. Even when they let you upload your own formatted CV, the system still insisted on a plain text CV. Why enable the former if the system demands the latter?
  2. It took a lot of time to fill in all the form boxes. I'm lucky that I was able to take a day to do it - a busier (perhaps more qualified) person would not. I must admit there were a few points where I just decided to jack it in but I kept going
  3. According to some reviews I read online, the applicant may be very suitable but if they do not put in the right buzzwords, they will not pass the TALEO phase of applying for the role. Now I realise this is not an issue unique to the TALEO system - even a paper based applications has to contain the right language to appeal to the recruiter.
  4. It feels very impersonal - I wasn't sure when, if ever, a human would read my application. Two weeks later I was lucky to receive a rejection email - some companies that use the system do not bother with this courtesy. I am still not overly convinced a human has been involved in that decision but there is no way I will ever know as I never talked to a human about this job.
My biggest issue is that I know after taking 5 years out to raise my child, that it is going to be very difficult to find any job in today's recession, let alone one in design or usability. It was bloody hard when I was single and very single-mindedly driven about my career to get my ideal position. I know in retrospect that when I took the decision not to return to work that I should have kept my hand in doing freelance work. Hindsight is a wonderful thing huh...shame it's not a buzzword that robotic HR personnel deem important.